Concerns continue to grow over the dangers of faulty Lithium-ion batteries fires in apartment blocks after four tourists only just escaped an ebike battery blaze in a unit in North Bondi Sydney last week.
As reported by ABC News, the tourists, who are from South America, were asleep when the fire broke out inside a bedroom just before 4am on Friday.
One of the tenants was woken by the sound of “small explosions” before alerting the other three. As the fire took hold, two of the tourists were forced to escape the building through a window while the others exited via the front door. One of the tenants, Maria Ferro, said she was “in shock” and felt “very lucky to get out”.
“They had a bike battery in their room, it exploded, we tried to get out of the apartment really quick but it burned pretty fast,” she said, “The guys from the room that the battery exploded they got out of the main door but we had to jump from the window to the neighbours’ door.
“There was no way to get out of the apartment other than the window as the fire was spreading to the living room.” Fourteen residents in adjoining units were also evacuated.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters were called to the scene and managed to quickly extinguish the blaze. No-one was injured but the tourists lost their personal possessions in the fire including passports, mobiles phones and bank records.
“We went to grab the last things that were there but there is not much left to be honest,” said Maria.
FRNSW and NSW Police Force conducted an investigation into the fire and found a faulty lithium-ion battery was the cause of the blaze. The battery was left on charge in a bedroom overnight and ignited.
FRNSW has reminded the public to be aware of the dangers of using lithium-ion batteries. The apartment complex was fitted with the required smoke alarms and an automatic fire door at the time.
The fire comes just two weeks after large fire tore through an e-bike repair shop at Croydon in Sydney’s inner west.
Code of conduct and by-law
Meanwhile as apartment owners and residents struggle to work out what can be done to keep their homes and families safe from this growing danger, the Owners Corporation Network has organised a webinar about the risks and preventative measure and even have a by-law owners corporations can adopt.
OCN says it recognises that the increase in popularity of Lithium-ion battery powered devices such as e-bikes and e-scooters and small home devices has some far reaching implications for managing fire risk in strata communities.
They are developing educational material including a code of conduct and a new e-bike/e-scooter bylaw for common lithium-ion battery powered devices. Here’s your invitation to register for their 15 Feb 2024 webinar – 12pm AEDT where a panel of experts will discuss:
- The real fire risks across common lithium-ion battery products
- A recommended Code of Conduct and bylaw for common lithium-ion battery powered devices
- Expert advice including a summary of responses and submissions regarding the EV Fire Risk
- Insurance Council of Australia advice to members
- Plus you’ll have an opportunity to have your questions heard
This webinar is for anyone that lives, owns or manages apartment buildings of all shapes and sizes and is brought to you by OCN and our participating partners and supporters.Speakers will include Fred Tuckwell, Chair OCN, Emma Sutcliffe. General Manager EV FireSafe, Ross de Rango – Head of Infrastructure, Electric Vehicle Council, Insurance Council of Australia
You can register to attend online here